News Brief

US Department of Labor recovers $300K in back wages, damages for 492 workers at Louisville coffee shop that diverted tips to management

Employer:                              Heine Brothers Inc.

Investigation site:                  1301 W. Main St.

                                                Louisville, KY 40203

Investigation findings: U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigators found the operator of a Louisville coffee shop redistributed tips improperly and diverted workers’ tips to managers. Heine Brothers also failed to keep a record for tips, specifically pennies which it mandated be donated to a charity, violations of minimum wage provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Back Wages and Liquidated Damages Assessed: The agency recovered $150,000 in back wages for 492 workers and an equal amount in liquidated damages.                                      

Quote: “The Wage and Hour Division is committed to protecting the rights of workers and ensuring that they receive all the hard-earned wages they rely on to make ends meet,” said Wage and Hour Division District Office Director Karen Garnett-Civils in Louisville, Kentucky. “In this case, our collaboration with the National Conference of Fireman and Oilers provided important help in our efforts to protect the rights of nearly 500 workers whose employer denied them their full wages.”

Background: Employers can contact the Wage and Hour Division at its toll-free number, 1-866-4-US-WAGE. Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including its search tool to learn if you are owed back wages collected by the division. Workers can call the Wage and Hour Division confidentially with questions – regardless of their immigration status – and the department can speak with callers in more than 200 languages. Workers and employers alike can help ensure hours worked and pay are accurate by downloading the department’s Android Timesheet App for free.

Wage and Hour Division
January 25, 2023
Release Number
Media Contact: Erika Ruthman
Media Contact: Eric R. Lucero
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